Arrest made in double murder

Published 6:44 pm Thursday, November 20, 2008

WINTON – The two-plus year-old murder of two elderly Emporia, Va. sisters may be solved.

In a press conference held late Thursday afternoon, Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan reported the arrest of 34-year-old William Curtis Futrell of Franklin, Va. Futrell, taken into custody in Franklin, is now being held without bond in the Hertford County Detention Center on two counts of first degree murder.

Futrell, who is scheduled to make his first court appearance Friday morning in Winton, is accused of murdering Dorothy Hobbs, 74, and her 71-year-old sister Nellie Bradley on Aug. 4, 2006. Their lifeless bodies were discovered at 7:38 p.m. on that day by an unidentified Murfreesboro resident in a wooded area along a farm path less than one mile north of town off Vaughan’s Creek Road.

An autopsy later revealed the two sisters died of stab wounds.

At Thursday’s press conference, Vaughan said the arrest was made based on the evidence collected during the course of the investigation. He did not elaborate on what role, if any, the DNA evidence collected during that investigation played in the arrest.

“We do not know of any connection between the suspect and the two victims,” Sheriff Vaughan said. “Our investigation is still ongoing and more arrests may be made.”

The Sheriff added that the arrest was made around 10 a.m. Thursday morning in Franklin, but did not specify at what exact location. It was later learned by the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald that Futrell lived at Dorchester Square Apartments, but the arrest was not made at his residence.

“He (Futrell) is not cooperating with us,” the Sheriff said.

Vaughan said he met with the victims’ families Thursday afternoon in Courtland, Va., but did not share any details of that meeting.

Sheriff Vaughan added that Futrell could have possibly once lived in the Roanoke-Chowan area, but could not say if he resided here during the time of the murders.

Sheriff Vaughan thanked the FBI, SBI, Northampton County Sheriff’s Office, Southampton County (Va.) Sheriff’s Office, the Murfreesboro Police Department and his officers for their work in this case.

The two sisters were last seen alive in Boykins, Va. at approximately 4:15 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 4, 2006. There, they were seen dropping off a donation for Relay for Life at Boykins Baptist Church.

The vehicle in which the two were traveling – a 1996 Ford, black in color – was found at approximately 11:30 p.m. that same day behind an abandoned residence near Boykins.

Boykins is located just across the state line, approximately 17 miles northwest of Murfreesboro. Vaughan’s Creek Road is a popular shortcut route shared by residents of both states.